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LAGOS COLLAPSED BUILDING: I’LL DIE WITH THIS GUILT

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LAGOS COLLAPSED BUILDING: I’LL DIE WITH THIS GUILT

…says 84-year-old woman, who lost two grandchildren

 

“If I had known, I would have listened to the instincts of one of my grandchild, who insisted he wasn’t going to school on that day and hesitated even when I forced and practically dragged him to his death. If I had applied some wisdom, perhaps, he and his younger one would have been alive today. This is one guilt I’ll die with.” The above was how 84-year-old Madam Nimota Ogunro summed up her agony while pointing to the spot where one of her grandchild was exhumed from the rubble of the collapsed three-storey building housing a children’s school at Massey Street, Itafaji in Lagos State on Wednesday.

She lost two of her grandchildren aged two and four years respectively under her care on the fateful day. Their mother, identified only as Monsuratu, but who the grandma continuously referred as Iya Alabi had that morning dropped off her younger child for the grandma to take to the crèche of the school. As Munsuratu left, the granny hurriedly prepared them to join their mates for the school assembly at the top floor of the building where the school was situated. But unlike the previous days, the older boy, Alabi, insisted he was not going to school on that day.

This was strange to the old woman as the boy had always been enthusiastic to learn. “So, I tried to persuade him, asking if there was anything I could do to make him change his mind. At that point Alabi requested I feed him along with his younger brother who was been fed at the time. Though odd I tried to satisfy him if only that could suede him to hurry up as they were already late.

“In spite of all these however, Alabi still refused to put on his shirt and leave for school. By this time I was already angry and I had to flog him and practi-cally dragged him and his younger one to join their mates at school. That decision is now hunting me as I’m feeling guilty for, as it were, dragging them to their early graves.

I’ll have to die with that guilt,” the grandma sobbed as she pointed to the spot where Alabi’s remain was exhumed after the building collapsed. Ogunro told Saturday Telegraph at her resident behind the collapsed building on Thursday that her life had been shattered by the tragic end of her grandchildren. “Nobody expected what happened on that day,” she said, adding, “I’d not wish my worst enemy what I am passing through now. I know my days are numbered as I no longer want to stay in this wicked world. What I am living for? Why would this happen to me at this age? How can I ever be able to explain what had happened? How can I ever stop thinking about this unfortunate incident?” Meanwhile, Madam Sidikatu, a confidant of Ogunro who was on hand to console her friend said she also lost some relatives to the ill-fated building as well. The 86-yeartheir old woman explained that the neighbourhood had been their ancestral home where they had all lived in peace.

Sidikatu used the occasion to plead with the state government not to demolish their houses as been rumoured since the unfortunate occurrence. She explained that the building which was in front of theirs might have been possessed by evil spirits. Sidikatu said: “No tenant ever stayed up to one year in that house. They have been coming and leaving almost immediately.

This was why we suspected the building haboured evil spirits. We even leant the owners of the school were looking for a better place to relocate to before this unfortunate incident. “The night before the incident we heard something like a quake coming from the building and we thought the evil spirits were having their usual meeting. It was after the building came down about 10 the following morning that weheard that what happened the night before could have been a sign that it was disintegrating. But the problem is with the developers; they will come and start putting more floors to already weak structures.

This is why the authorities should go after them and not force us out of our ancestral homes. Where do they want us to relocate to?” In addition to the pupils of Ohen Nursery and Primary School, the collapsed building was also said to have accommodated tenants before it caved in.

The school was equally said to have occupied the first and second floors of the building while tenants live on the ground floor. Although there are residents who said they never knew there was a school in the collapsed building because the government had marked it more than a year ago for demolition. Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, who visited the scene some minutes past 3 p.m. on Wednesday, also said it was unfortunate thing that such a school existed in the building. “It is evident that Lagos State is not aware of such school, it is illegal and the culprits will face the law,” the governor said.

Ambode’s statement panicked the residents of the community, who are now worried about the state government’s intention to pull down defective structures within the neighbourhood that have been shaken due to the effect of the one that just collapsed.

This fear was given impetus when the Lagos State governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, visited to commiserate with the community on Thursday. Sanwo-Olu reiterated what Ambode said in his brief remark that the relevant sections of the law would apply in this instance. Immediately after his short speech, the residents interpreted that to mean that the land where the building was will be forfeited to the government and the marked defective buildings pull down in line with the referred relevant state law. The people had to stage a mild protest to prevent that.

To drive home their point, they requested that the government should first provide them with alternative accommodation. Meanwhile, Adesina Tiamiyu, the general manager of LASEMA, who was present at the scene throughout the rescue operation, told journalists that people living in the area had been very helpful in their own little way to not only rescue those trapped but to maintain orderliness within the vicinity. The LASEMA boss however, debunked claims that over 100 pupils were trapped in the collapsed building.

Tiamiyu said, “I have seen the picture of the building before it collapsed and I can confirm to you that the floor that housed the school cannot accommodate up to 100 pupils.” A resident who was at home when the incident occurred but declined to give his name, said: “I was at home when we suddenly heard ‘gboom,’ and before we could realised what had happened the building had been reduced to rubble. Upon the collapse of the building, many men in the neighbourhood rushed to the scene and were able to rescue a few pupils before the arrival of LASEMA officials and other rescue teams.

Building collapse has become a constant and worrisome feature in this part of the world. In Lagos State, for instance, this worrying phenomenon happens with reckless abandon with most of the incidents attributed to the carelessness of man. Regardless of what is usually responsible for structure failures, one thing ties all building collapses to the same apron strings; they end in fatality. But do Nigerians really draw lesson from the deadliness that results from a building collapse or should the authorities just continue to fold their arms and hope it doesn’t happen again?

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    March 16, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.

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Bala flags off N8.8bn road project in Bauchi

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Bala flags off N8.8bn road project in Bauchi

 

 

B

auchi State Governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has flagged off the N8.8 billion road project between Alkaleri and Tafawa Balewa Local Government Areas of the state.

 

 

Mohammed said the benefiting communities include Yalwan Duguri, Badaran Dutse, Birim, Bajama, Kumbala, Kundak Wurno and Burga community respectively.

 

 

Speaking at the project site in Burga, Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area, Governor Mohammed said already over N4 billion had been released to contractors to commence work within the period of completion in two years.

 

He said the award for the construction of the road was in line with campaign promises to provide infrastructure that had direct bearing on the lives of the teeming populace.

 

 

According to him, adequate attention would be given to facilitate the timely completion of the project and acknowledged the courage and endurance demonstrated by the communities for waiting patiently to see the day of the execution of the project.

 

 

Governor Mohammed reaffirmed that in an effort to remain focused and committed to its campaign promises; his administration would embark on meaningful projects that had socioeconomic impact on the citizens of the state.

 

 

On his part, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport, Engineer Stephen Abubakar, said the road when completed, would increase access to social amenities and other opportunities associated with road transport to the communities.

 

 

He explained that the road was designed to have a length of 58.4k metres with total width of 10.3 metres, which comprised of a carriageway of 7.3 metres and 1.5 metres shoulders on each side.

 

 

The permanent secretary noted that the road would be constructed with four bridges, 45 box culverts and 70 pipe culverts of different sizes as it would be completed within 24 dry months.

 

 

In his remarks earlier, Caretaker Committee Chairman, Tafawa Balewa Local Government, Kefas Magaji, who spoke on behalf of the benefiting communities, described the gesture as a welcome development, saying the road would further boost movement and interaction among the people of Tafawa Balewa and Alkaleri Local Government Areas.

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9mobile secures N82.8bn AFC loan

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9mobile secures N82.8bn AFC loan

I

n what appears to be a landmark achievement since the exit of United Arab Emirates (UAE) investors, Etisalat Telecommunications Company, 9mobile has secured N82.8 billion (US$230 million) from the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC). 

 

 

The facility came as a lifeline for the telco, which currently ranks distant fourth among mobile network operators in the country with 16 million active subscriptions.

 

 

The facility, which is divided into two tranches, is to be spent on repayment of historic vendor obligations, according to the company. Part of the loan, the telco said, would also be used, among others, to “finance costs, interest reserve account and payment towards quick win CAPEX initiatives.”

 

 

AFC is a pan-African multilateral development financial institution established to bridge Africa’s infrastructure investment gap through the provision of debt and equity finance, project development, technical and financial advisory services.

 

 

Announcing the development through a statement yesterday, the Board of Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited (EMTS), trading as 9mobile, said the loan was a boost to its efforts to reposition the company. “Convinced by the initiatives so far taken by the Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero-led Board and management headed by Acting Managing Director, Stephane Beuvelet, to return the multi-award-winning company to the path of growth and profitability through cost efficiency, innovative product development and network efficiency, AFC announced the approval of the loan on Friday, August 23,” the statement read.

 

 

AFC, in a letter addressed to both Bayero and Beuvelet, was quoted as saying: “Africa Finance Corporation is pleased to inform Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services that it has received full Board approval to support the turnaround strategy of EMTS through a US$230 million super senior debt investment.”

 

 

Commenting on the approval, the Board Chair, Ado Bayero, expressed happiness that EMTS’ effort to recover previously ceded ground through an innovative growth plan is being supported by a pan-African financial institution, the AFC.

 

 

Bayero further assured of the company’s resolve to continue its aggressive enhancement of network capacity and innovative features to guarantee optimum value to customers.

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1,000 benefit from Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat medical outreach

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1,000 benefit from Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat medical outreach

L

agos State Government yesterday said that no fewer than 1,000 people have so far benefited from the ongoing free surgical intervention in   orthopedic surgery, eye, and others being offered by the state government in collaboration with a non-governmental organisation, BOSKOH Lagos Healthcare Mission.

 

 

 

 

New Telegraph gathered that at Massey Street Children’s Hospital, 81 pediatric patients were referred for various cases, including dental problems and chronic medical conditions, while over 300 patients were being attended to at General Hospital, Lagos, with a total of 94 surgeries so far carried out. A total of 67 dental extractions were also carried out.

 

Speaking during a visit to centres where the surgery was being carried out simultaneously in general hospital, wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said that the free  surgical intervention which included dental surgery  procedure, ENT surgery amongst others was a continuation of the free screening recently conducted at the designated primary health centres across the State.

 

She expressed delight at the impact the interventions had on the lives of beneficiaries.

 

She said: “I have been around five general hospital today to observe what has been done for the past few days.

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Yoruba leader: Afenifere leaders, others meet over Akintoye’s emergence

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Yoruba leader: Afenifere leaders, others meet over Akintoye’s emergence

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embers of the Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere at the weekend converged on Akure, the Ondo State capital to deliberate over recent emergence of Prof. Banji Akintoye as their new leader.

It was gathered that the meeting which was held behind closed doors at the Akure residence of the leader of the group, Pa Reuben Fasoranti was aimed at dousing tension arising from the endorsement of Prof. Akintoye by a group.

Thursday, last week, a group, the Assembly of All Yoruba Groups Worldwide had picked 84-year-old Akintoye as the new leader of the Yoruba race.

The delegates of the groups at Ibadan, the Oyo State capital endorsed Akintoye as the fourth Yoruba leader after Pa Abraham Adesanya.

But sources at the Akure meeting which was attended by Prof. Akintoye, traditional rulers, as well as some prominent Yoruba sons including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Wole Soyinka among others expressed concern over the development in the Yorubaland and called for caution.

The sources added that during the meeting Akintoye assured the Afenifere leaders that he would not do anything that would cause disunity in Afenifere and in Yorubaland.

The meeting which was presided over by Pa Fasoranti had in attendance the Afenifere Deputy National leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, its National scribe, Seinde Arogbofa and the Publicity Secretary of the group, Yinka Odumakin.

Others present were the Ondo State governorship aspirant of the PDP, Chief Sola Ebiseni, Supo Sonibare, Olaitan Osun and Demola Folarin amongst other leaders.

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APC screens seven aspirants ahead August 28 Bayelsa primary

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APC screens seven aspirants ahead August 28 Bayelsa primary

 

N

o fewer than seven aspirants including Prince Ebitimi Amgbare, David Lyon, Preye Aganaba, Heineken Lokpobiri, former minister of state for agriculture and rural development, were among those screened by the National Screening Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for their primary election slated for August 28 ahead of the governorship election coming up on November 16.

 

Others screened were former Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) Frankland Briyai, a female aspirant and former Commissioner of Police, Diseye Poweigha and Prof. Ongebi Maureen Etebu.

 

Addressing the aspirants and stakeholders at the state secretariat in Yenagoa, the Ita Isong-led National Screening Committee had assured all aspirants of a level playing ground that would ensure a smooth playing ground towards the party’s primary.

 

Addressing journalists after the exercise, Heineken Lokpobiri said he was satisfied with the outcome of the exercise.

He said: “Well, the screening committee did a good job. Out of the seven aspirants, I happen to be the last person to be screened and I think the process went well.”

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Edo APC primaries: Erring members’ll face disciplinary action – Obaseki

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Edo APC primaries: Erring members’ll face disciplinary action – Obaseki

E

do State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has assured members of his party that disciplinary actions would be taken against those who betrayed the party during the 2019 All Progressives Congress (APC) primary elections in the state.

 

 

Obaseki spoke while receiving the report of a committee set up by the state chapter of the APC to reconcile aggrieved party members after the primary elections.

 

 

The governor expressed appreciation to the committee for helping to review issues involving all aspirants that participated in the party’s recent primaries.

 

 

Obaseki called for compulsory monthly meetings across the various units, wards and local government areas (LGAs) that would be attended by special assistants and advisers from the wards.

 

 

He assured them that he would get across to all the parties involved in the issues raised by the committee and urged them to be proud of the developmental strides so far recorded by the party.

 

 

Obaseki also assured them that the reconciliation exercise would be carried out while promising that stiff disciplinary measures would be meted out to those that betrayed and erred against the party.

 

 

Chairman of the four-man committee, Theophilus Okoh, during the presentation of the report to the governor, said the committee visited the three senatorial districts in the state and the local government areas to interact with party members who bought APC expression of interest forms, adding that the aspirants cooperated with the committee members.

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Rivers community celebrates as NDDC restores electricity

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Rivers community celebrates as NDDC restores electricity

T

he people of Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State at the weekend trouped out in their numbers to celebrate the restoration of electricity to their community by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

 

 

Isiokpo was agog as members of the community staged a festive rally to thank the NDDC for re-connecting them to public power supply after two and half years of power outage from the national grid.

 

 

Speaking on behalf of the community, John Tasie, a retired civil servant, commended the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa and the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Dr. Chris Amadi, for fulfilling the promise they made to the people of Isiokpo to give them electricity.

 

 

Tasie also lauded the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for making deliberate efforts to develop the Niger Delta, acknowledging that the impact of NDDC was being felt in the region. He said: “It is heart-warming that Isiokpo and other communities in Ikwerre Kingdom can now enjoy stable electricity, courtesy of the NDDC.”

 

 

“There is no better way to demonstrate our feelings and gratitude to NDDC than by a public rally like this, which also coincides with our annual wrestling festival.”

 

 

The crowd of community leaders, youths and women moved round the town singing songs of joy and displaying placards with different messages. Some of them read in part; “President Buhari, Ikwerres are happy with you and NDDC; ‘Thank you Nelson Brambaifa and Dr Chris Amadi, aka ‘Light;’ ‘Thank you NDDC for re-kindling our hope,” among others.

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Okowa felicitates with Sultan at 63

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Okowa felicitates with Sultan at 63

D

elta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, at the weekend congratulated the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, as he attained the age of 63 on August 24.

 

 

The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, commended the Sultan for his untiring efforts at promoting and advancing the cause of peace, unity and positive development in all parts of the country.

He said Nigerians at all levels appreciated the Sultan for his immense contributions toward building bridges of unity and peaceful coexistence among the citizenry.

 

 

“My family, the Government and people of Delta State felicitate with you, the Sokoto Emirate Council, Government and people of Sokoto State on the occasion of your 63rd birthday anniversary.

“Your usual timely and wise counsel on national issues keeps us, leaders, in check at all times.

 

 

“We acknowledge your exemplary role as Head, Jama’atu Nasirl Islam (JNI), President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and co-Chairman of Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC).

“We also appreciate your support for education in Nigeria as a key to the promotion and protection of human life and dignity, because man has no dignity without education.”

 

 

“As you continue to use your exalted throne to promote peace, unity and positive development in the Caliphate and across our nation, be rest assured of the support, partnership and cooperation of the government and people of Delta State,” he said.

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Kogi guber: I’ll bring development to all groups, says Irukera

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Kogi guber: I’ll bring development to all groups, says Irukera

 

 

A

ll Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in the November 16 election in Kogi State, Dr. Tunde Irukera, yesterday promised to make the state greater if elected, saying that the state needed help to save it from its current from socio-economic woes.

Speaking during his official declaration and inauguration of his local government campaign team in Lokoja, Irukera said his vision and agenda would bring development to all ethnic groups in the state.

 

“l have a vision of a greater Kogi and you as an individual must be great. I have an Igala agenda. I have an Okun agenda. I have an Ebira agenda. But for the vision to become reality, there must be a mission, which is for you to deliver me,” he said.

The director-general, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), said he planned to emancipate Kogi State from socio-economic woes through his HELP (Health, Employment, Learning-Education and Prosperity) Agenda, and restore power back to the people purposeful and people-oriented leadership.

 

He said the state was in dire need of help, which he said he would address through good governance and advised those on the verge of losing hope as a result of the prevailing hardship in the state, not to despair, assuring them that help was on the way.

Irukera said the choice of leadership should be freely given to the people, adding that; “The time has come for us in Nigeria to choose our leaders based on character and popularity.”

 

Speaking earlier, immediate past Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Imam, described Irukera as the best among the APC aspirants jostling for the party’s ticket in the November 16 governorship election.

 

Also speaking, APC State Women Leader, Hajia Fatima Allah-Dey, urged women to come out and fight for their freedom and the future of their children, saying that they had spent too much time in the dark.

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Kebbi : LG boss seeks support for security agencies

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Kebbi : LG boss seeks support for security agencies

T

he Sole Administrator of Gwandu Local Government Council in Kebbi State, Hon. Maude Gwandu, has appealed to the people, traditional rulers and religious leaders to support security agencies with information about any stranger or visitor found in the area.

 

 

He spoke at the weekend while addressing journalists shortly after the council’s security council meeting. He said the issue of insecurity in the area was becoming alarming as such urged the people to be vigilant and security conscious in any of their acts.

 

 

He explained further that Gwandu Local Government was sharing border with Sokoto and Zamfara states, where there were serious security problems, admonishing the people to screen anybody found as a new face in the area.

 

 

He said: “Recently, we saw some Fulani herdsmen settled in one village; and I summon their chairman and confirmed about their position and they told them that they migrated from Sokoto, they were send packing from Sokoto State and now they are under watch for security reasons,” he added.

 

 

Gwandu, who also emphasised that there was need to engage youths on different skills training programme for them to be self-employed, promising that his administration was working hard to ensure that skills accusation centres established by the former House of Assembly member in the secretariat would be revived in order to allow youths learn different skills training programme and for them to be self-employed.

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